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Astronomers and UFOs.

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posted on Mar, 20 2010 @ 03:00 PM
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Do astronomers see UFOs?

There are some interesting comments made in the video below by Dr J. Allen Hyneck (Former Chairman of the Astronomy Department at Northwestern University) who states that quite a few astronomers believe the UFO subject is worthy of scientific study and have had unexplained sightings of their own.

His comments seem to contradict the commonly held belief that scientists don't treat the UFO subject seriously and there's quite a lot of credible astronomer reports in the document below.


Astronomer reports:

A List of UFO Sightings by Astronomers



Interview (0:40):





Article:



One of the great debunker urban myths is that astronomers never see UFOs. But this is simply not true. Tombaugh was just one example. Dr. Lincoln LaPaz had at least two (saucer, green fireball) and also secretly investigated saucer and green fireball reports for the Air Force in New Mexico. Even debunker Donald Menzel had a green fireball sighting.

Prof. Walter Webb had a sighting in 1951. James Bartlett Jr., previously a big skeptic, had four sightings in 1952 (4 discs), 1953 (4 lights emerging from cigar-shaped craft), 1954 (four glowing objects flying in formation), and 1957.

Frank Halstead had a spectacular sighting in 1955, when he and his wife observed a large, 800-foot cigar-shaped UFO pacing their train, then joined by a 100-foot disc, both then rising straight up and disappearing. In 1954 British astronomer H. Percy Wilkins saw three 3 radiant, polished metal discs, "like dinner plates" from his airplane window while flying over the states. And Blue Book consultant J. Alan Hynek snapped two photos of something saucer-like from his airplane window.

Australian astronomer Drs. Bart Brok and A. R. Hogg described a bright light moving erratically across the sky in 1957 which they determined was at least several hundred miles up. A day later, French astronomer Jacques Chapais described seeing a canary-yellow object sweep across the sky twice before disappearing straight up.

There are many more examples. Perhaps the earliest, well-documented astronomer UFO sighting dates back to 1878. E.W. Maunder and other staff members at the Greenwich Royal Observatory reported "a strange celestrial visitor" in the Observatory Reports, which they described as "torpedo" or "spindle-shaped." Years later Maunder wrote that it looked exactly like one of the new Zeppelin dirigibles (the first ones not being built until 1897 or 1898 I believe).

Link




Documents:

UFOs and Astronomers - Michael Swords (pdf)

Special report - Air Technical Intelligence Centre - Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

Astronomers and UFOs - Geoff Falla (pdf)

Cheers.

[edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12]




posted on Mar, 20 2010 @ 04:17 PM
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I can't believe Sir Patrick Moore has never seen one. And it'd be a shame if Brian Cox hasn't either. It'd be great just to see how much it would influence, or not - great shows like Sky At Night and Cox's Solar System one. P.M has done some funny reports in all the shows history but it doesn't look like he's seen something to convince him yet...

Very good point though. They spend far more time looking at the sky than me and I've seen at least 3!!! But then perhaps we spend more time gazing at the upper atmosphere of earth than they do.

[edit on 20-3-2010 by markymint]



posted on Mar, 20 2010 @ 04:56 PM
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reply to post by markymint
 


Markymint, thanks for the reply -according to the reports there's quite a significant number of astronomer sightings so maybe Patrick might get lucky.


There are two other good pdf documents below which go into more detail about the actual percentages and contain graphs, charts and descriptions of objects witnessed.


Report on a Survey of the Membership of the American Astronomical Society Concerning the UFO Problem (pdf).


The Amateur astronomer and the UFO Phenomenon - Gert Herb (pdf).


Cheers.

[edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12]



posted on Mar, 20 2010 @ 05:04 PM
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reply to post by karl 12
 


G'day karl 12

I find this case interesting.....



www.abovetopsecret.com...

I would be very interested to hear your opinion about it.

Kind regards
Maybe...maybe not

[edit on 20-3-2010 by Maybe...maybe not]



posted on Mar, 20 2010 @ 05:08 PM
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It also goes to say how many other astronomers out there HAVE seen things but don't speak up in fear of being ridiculed or shunned within the astronomical community. The high-level of professionalism, akin to pilots, surely has it's own pitfalls when things are sighted that science is skeptical towards.



posted on Mar, 20 2010 @ 05:47 PM
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reply to post by Maybe...maybe not
 


Hey bud -have never seen that thread before -good call.

Will have to sit down and have a good read of it but it looks like Easynow's posted another very interesting one.

Theres another document below by debunker Tim Printy who dismisses UFO astronomer reports - I don't realy think he makes a solid case like Michael Swords but it does need to be in this thread.

Astronomer and UFOs -Tim Printy (pdf)

Cheers.



posted on Mar, 20 2010 @ 05:58 PM
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reply to post by karl 12
 


G'day karl 12

I'll also be interested to see what you make of JakMan.....the guy who took the pic's & who's posting in that thread.

I'll read that article you posted.

Kind regards
Maybe...maybe not



posted on Mar, 20 2010 @ 06:30 PM
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Originally posted by djvexd
It also goes to say how many other astronomers out there HAVE seen things but don't speak up in fear of being ridiculed or shunned within the astronomical community. The high-level of professionalism, akin to pilots, surely has it's own pitfalls when things are sighted that science is skeptical towards.



Djvexd, thats a very good point mate - I think the use of scoffing, ridicule and derision are major factors when it comes to stopping serious research into the UFO subject - perhaps we shouldn't forget how brave some of these folks actualy are when it comes to speaking out about what they've witnessed.

Terry Hansen makes some interesting points below about the use of ridicule and the Robertson panel from 1953 - it realy does make you wonder how many UFO sightings have actualy gone unreported over the years.




Cheers.







Originally posted by Maybe...maybe not
I'll also be interested to see what you make of JakMan.....the guy who took the pic's & who's posting in that thread.


No worries mate, I had a quick look through and he seems like a sincere enough chap to me - will get back in the next few days.


Cheers.

[edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12]



posted on Mar, 20 2010 @ 06:38 PM
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Originally posted by karl 12
reply to post by Maybe...maybe not
 


Theres another document below by debunker Tim Printy who dismisses UFO astronomer reports - I don't realy think he makes a solid case like Michael Swords but it does need to be in this thread.

Astronomer and UFOs -Tim Printy (pdf)

Cheers.


G'day karl 12

I've worked through that doc.

In my opinion, Printy contradicts himself. He tables reports by professional astronomers about sightings that are stated as being "abnormal" & then he states the sightings were judged not to be worth investigating.

Printy appears to have started out with a die-hard skeptic's position & ensured his doc supports that position.

Kind regars
Maybe...maybe not



posted on Mar, 20 2010 @ 07:11 PM
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reply to post by Maybe...maybe not
 


I'd have to agree with you there bud - I realy haven't got much time for Tim Printy's method of debunking and the two documents in the third post appear to discount a lot of what he's saying.

There's another interesting astronomer report below from Kevin Randle's website where a UFO was observed through binoculars and a telescope - the descriptions of the object sound pretty strange and the astronomers say the object's rate of speed would 'make a SR-71 Blackbird look very old and slow'.




Five Astronomers witness UFO


On the evening of 10-17-09 myself and four other club members were at our astronomy clubs observatory (35.8308 96.14518) for a clear night of observing. With many years of experience in observing under our belts we were needless to say quite qualified to identify most anything that we would see. Between approximately 6:40 - 7:00 P.M. one of the members noticed something off in the west and queried as to what it may happen to be. First and foremost it was bright, more or less as bright as Jupiter, yet setting about ten to twelve degrees above the horizon, due west.

...Again, it didn’t move, remained in one position, which eliminated the possibility of it being a celestial body that none of us were unlikely familiar with. That alone became puzzling since the obvious - Venus, Mercury - are now tracking in the morning eastern sky, not the evening western sky. With that we continued to watch it as one of the guys used his 10x50 binoculars to get a better view.

But as we watched it more closely it was very surprising as to the manner in which it morphed into various shapes and sizes. Its brightness would vary some but that was easily seen as being caused by the low-lying clouds on the horizon. As we commonly call it - it was - sitting in the soup. When they would move in front of it the objects brightness would dim some. Otherwise it would maintain its brightness. That was easily seen via binocular observations.

Close to 8 P.M. we started to notice what appeared to be a ring of lights that was rotating around the bottom portion. The lights were seen in the same location that the bluish green colored waves were at. Several of us noticed this while looking at it through the telescopes. Needless to say this was surprising to us all. This carried on for one to two minutes and then suddenly the object started to move. The movement was slow at the beginning but increased very rapidly.

The speed that it moved was without question way beyond anything that we have knowledge of or is publicly known to be in our military. At the rate it flew away would make a SR-71 Blackbird look very old and slow. Could it have possibly been a new experimental aircraft? Possibly yes but if so what was something such as that doing in Oklahoma? Most generally new experimental, top-secret aircraft of that type are being tested at either Edwards AFB or Area 51, not Oklahoma. In a nutshell, we will never know


Link


Cheers.

[edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12]



posted on Mar, 20 2010 @ 07:47 PM
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Originally posted by Maybe...maybe not
I'll also be interested to see what you make of JakMan.....the guy who took the pic's & who's posting in that thread.


I can't believe what Jakman says, look at this statement he made in that link you posted:

"My 8 inch Schmidt-Cassegrain doesn't detect anything closer than 100 feet. And small objects (bugs, frisbees, etc.) farther than that, can't be seen either. "

What???? I understand the part about having difficulty with objects closer than 100 feet, my telescope has the same problem. But his 8 inch telescope can't see a frisbee at 150 feet away? I can see that with my naked eye at that distance!! It may be out of focus if he has his focus set to infinity but he sure as heck should be able to see it.

I have a hard time believing that an 8 inch telescope can't see a frisbee at distances greater than 100 feet, unless it's MUCH greater, like miles away.

[edit on 20-3-2010 by Arbitrageur]



posted on Mar, 20 2010 @ 10:59 PM
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Thanks for the great detailed info Karl, I've enjoyed reading this.

Some of the objects don't seem that mysterious, but some do. However I have to ask what the definition of a UFO is. If the F stands for "flying" then I have to say I'm not sure some of these astronomical observations are really considered "flying" in the sense that I normally think of an object suspended in the Earth's atmosphere by some kind of lift which defies the Earth's gravity, as some appear to be outside the influence of the Earth's gravity.

For example, objects which traverse the sun, the moon, or other bodies in our solar system as we observe them, in a more or less straight line motion, might be more accurately called "orbiting objects" if they are in some kind of orbit around the sun. Comets are easily recognized by their spectacular tail, but asteroids, meteors and other objects which weren't too well understood in the past are now known to exist in fair numbers in orbit around the sun. We haven't identified all of them so certainly some of them could be called unidentified, but it seems likely that's what some of these objects are. The ones that worry us are the Earth-crossing asteroids, like Apophis, for example, scheduled to make a rendezvous with Earth a in 2029 but which seems unlikely to hit us, we think.

Some seem to be balloons, like:
Aug 2, 1968 "Appeared at times like a giant balloon", maybe not so "unidentified"? A balloon certainly sounds plausible for that one.
Sept 5 1968 sounds like another balloon.

May 23, 1950 apparent balloon seen by Seymour Hess:


That's very reminiscent of the description of the Mantell UFO, probably also a balloon, except Hess speaks words which seemed to be unspoken in the Mantell sighting:

"It looked at first like a parachute, he said. But this may have just been the section of one half of a spherical object, the other half being in shadows". So a spherical object like a balloon would fit that description quite nicely. It seems apparent that the same possibility exists for the Mantell object, part was in shadows and part was illuminated, making the balloon shape not completely visible, but it was similarly described as a partial sphere, an umbrella shape I believe was one description.

Now about the sightings below that, is that George Adamski the same guy who was communicating with ETs from Venus?

www.eyepod.org...

His best publicised claim was that on November 20, 1952 ..Adamski said the ET, named Orthon, was from Venus and expressed to Adamski his concern over the development of nuclear weapons and the inability of men on earth to have their spiritual growth keep pace with their technology.


A lot of the UFOs on that list are by Adamski, I'm not too sure about his encounter with Orthon, Venus doesn't seem to be a very hospitable place for Orthon to originate from. So I think the credibility of some of these reports is in doubt, certainly I find Adamski's credibility doubtful.

The November 1, 1966 sighting is a hoax.

www.ufologie.net...

What has happened is that Mr. Ditter faked to UFO pictures to please his daughter. She had read a book about UFO and asked him when he would take UFO pictures for her. When customers of his barber shop saw the photographs, the ball begun rolling. Ditter started a story about a UFO observations, but it was inconsistent with the photographic sequence. That was enough proof for many investigators and the photos were dubbed a hoax. The photos were then sent to the Rand Corporation for analysis. And their analysis was totally accurate. Unfortunately, as much time went by, the media lost interest in the story, and did not learn about the hoax: Mr. Ditter’s photographs still show up occasionally in books and magazines as "authentic" UFO pictures.


And even for people that aren't making things up, some of these reports unfortunately have the same problems as reports from the general population, they try to estimate the distance, size and speed of an unknown object in the sky, which is pretty much impossible, without some kind of triangulation or other distance verification, which isn't mentioned in most cases.

There are many reports of TLPs, or lights on the moon, many of which are now believed to be impacts of meteoroids. These reports are certainly credible and we see these frequently.

The objects that cause those lights we probably can't see, they would be "flying objects" perhaps, but if the lights are on the moon's surface, they aren't really flying. A number of other items noted are on the moons surface and not really flying, like the Nov 26, 1956 maltese cross photo. "was unquestionably either on the surface of the moon or very close to it".

And could objects like the June 18th 1957 objects be meteors? "an object with a fiery red tail....." and they say nothing to rule out a meteor in that description. The April 25h 1966 object surely sounds like a meteor.

For some of these, I don't know what to think like the early October, 1958 sighting of the letters PYAX and JWA on the moon. Where is the photograph? That would be interesting to see even though again it doesn't sould like a UFO.

After you weed out all the rather mundane sightings like meteors, asteroids, lights on the moon (TLPs), balloons, apparent mirages, and reports by apparent hoaxers, there are some truly fascinating cases:

February 13, 1960. While there's not enough information to rule out a meteor, the fact that the FBI confiscated the photo and didn't return it makes for an interesting story.

Sept 14. 1964 looks interesting, a flying object with an apparent size twice that of the moon, which flew across the sky and reversed. The reversed statement is what makes some of these way more interesting than the descriptions of objects that just "flew across the sky" which can include many very mundane things. Something similar was again seen Nov 14-15, 1964.

March 18th, 1965, interesting photo by Amateur photographer Patric McCarthy. He said "Suddenly I saw this massive circular object in the sky" so he took pictures but it doesn't look circular in the picture, at least not from this angle:



I tried Googling McCarthy's case to learn more about it but didn't find much, that's a photo I haven't seen before. For such an interesting photo I'm surprised to not find much more about it, has anyone run across this before or have more info about it?

Nice thread Karl, S&F



posted on Mar, 21 2010 @ 12:23 AM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


G'day Arbitrageur

That sounds odd, unless he has some sort of very specialised set-up.....& by the way, he does seem to know his stuff.

Here are some basic specs including near focus:



Specifications and Features: Meade, 8", and 10" LX200 Telescopes
Optical Design Schmidt-Cassegrain
Clear Aperture 203mm (8"); 254mm (10")
Primary Mirror Diameter 209.6mm (8.25"); 263.5mm (10.38")
Focal Length 1280mm (8" f/6.3) 2000mm (8" f/10)
1600mm(10" f/6.3); 2500mm (10" f/10)
Focal Ratio (Photographic Speed) f/6.3 or f/10 (specify)
Near Focus (approx.) 25 ft. (8"); 50 ft. (10")
Resolving Power (arc secs.) 0.56 (8"); 0.45 (10")
Super Multi-Coatings (EMC) Standard
Limiting Visual Magnitude (approx.) 14.0 (8"); 14.5 (10")
Limiting Photographic Magnitude (approx.) 16.5 (8"); 17.0 (10")
Image Scale (degs./inch) 1.14 (8" f/6.3); 0.72 (8" f/10)
0.91 (10" f/6.3); 0.57 (10" f/10)

homepages.tesco.net...


Kind regards
Maybe...maybe not



posted on Mar, 21 2010 @ 12:25 AM
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reply to post by karl 12
 


G'day karl 12

Thanks for posting that very interesting report.

I will read through the other 2 doc's as mentioned by you.

Kind regards
Maybe...maybe not



posted on Mar, 21 2010 @ 12:44 AM
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Originally posted by Maybe...maybe not
reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


G'day Arbitrageur

That sounds odd, unless he has some sort of very specialised set-up.....& by the way, he does seem to know his stuff.

Hi Maybe, thanks for the specs.

It sounds more than odd, it sounds impossible. Let's say the min focus distance is 50' and you add a 3x lens which might extend that to 150', you would still be able to focus on a frisbee at 200' and there's no doubt you could see it.

Just because someone seems to know their stuff doesn't prevent them from coming up with some whacky statements that are obviously false, I know of a PhD in the UFO field who does this frequently.



posted on Mar, 21 2010 @ 08:07 AM
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Thanks for the replies -some great reading there.


There's some extremely strange footage below which shows an unknown light filmed by astronomers in Columbia - the news report is in Spanish but its well worth a watch as the flight characteristics appear very unusual.



Thread

Cheers.

[edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12]



posted on Mar, 21 2010 @ 08:57 AM
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Originally posted by Arbitrageur
Thanks for the great detailed info Karl, I've enjoyed reading this.

Some of the objects don't seem that mysterious, but some do. However I have to ask what the definition of a UFO is. If the F stands for "flying" then I have to say I'm not sure some of these astronomical observations are really considered "flying" in the sense that I normally think of an object suspended in the Earth's atmosphere by some kind of lift which defies the Earth's gravity, as some appear to be outside the influence of the Earth's gravity.



Arbitrageur, that's an interesting point - if some of these objects are outside the earth's atmosphere then even the term UAP wouldn't apply.

I think the best definition for the term I've heard is from Dr Hyneck - the MUFON link below also makes some good points about popular misconceptions and historical aspects of the subject.




UFO:

"The reported perception of an object or light seen in the sky or upon the land the appearance, trajectory, and general dynamic and luminescent behavior of which do not suggest a logical, conventional explanation and which is not only mystifying to the original percipients but remains unidentified after close scrutiny of all available evidence by persons who are technically capable of making a common sense identification, if one is possible."

The UFO Experience: A Scientific Inquiry by J. Allen Hynek, Henry Regnery, Chicago, 1972, p. 10.

Link


Cheers.



posted on Mar, 21 2010 @ 09:16 AM
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Another very interesting case where an amateur astronomer witnessed and photographed a UFO is the Lake Erie Coastguard incident from 1988 - the thread below deals with the reports and government documents but it's interesting that MUFON are now said to be in possession of the image yet have never released it.



US Coastguard report - UFOs over Lake Erie.




Astronomer


A young man out using a small telescope to observe the moon spotted one of the triangles. He was able to quickly grab a small disposable camera and snap a photo of one of the objects.

The photo was later analyzed by an optical physicist, who considered it to be a legitimate image of an unexplained object.


Link








Interview


W3 It was like a triangle shape, but had little tails, like, coming out of the ends.


RD You mentioned the object had a glow, which you diagrammed here on the left-hand side of it. Could you draw an arrow on the page to show which direction it was moving?


W3 It was moving in this direction [away from the observed glow]


RD What brand name camera did you use? (Information on the camera and film used by the witness was taken, an Argus 20, Kodak 110 color film, no special developing process used)

The interview continued.

RD (Referring to a streak of light across the triangular object on the photograph) Did you see this blue streak with the naked eye or was this something that surprised you...


W3 It was something that surprised me when I saw the picture. In the picture you can see part of the little fin I was talking about that it has on it...where it comes down and like curves out.


RD What was the sky like that night?


W3 Perfectly clear. Not even a little layer of clouds.


RD You mentioned you were out looking at some planets. What planets did you notice in the sky?


W3 Well, Venus and Jupiter were set behind the trees. They were nowhere near where we were looking.


Link








MUFON


At about 10:30 P.M. that night T.K. (name and address provided to MUFON), took a photograph in his back yard, within a few miles of the Perry Nuclear Plant, showing a portion of a brightly lit triangular object travelling across the sky (Photograph in possession of MUFON).


Link




Anyone who would like to know why MUFON is witholding this photograph can ask them by emailing the link below:

cclift@mufon.com

Cheers.



posted on Mar, 21 2010 @ 10:40 AM
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Originally posted by karl 12
Arbitrageur, that's an interesting point - if some of these objects are outside the earth's atmosphere then even the term UAP wouldn't apply.

I think the best definition for the term I've heard is from Dr Hyneck - the MUFON link below also makes some good points about popular misconceptions and historical aspects of the subject.



UFO:

"The reported perception of an object or light seen in the sky or upon the land the appearance, trajectory, and general dynamic and luminescent behavior of which do not suggest a logical, conventional explanation and which is not only mystifying to the original percipients but remains unidentified after close scrutiny of all available evidence by persons who are technically capable of making a common sense identification, if one is possible."

The UFO Experience: A Scientific Inquiry by J. Allen Hynek, Henry Regnery, Chicago, 1972, p. 10.

Link


Cheers.


Hi Karl,

Speaking of Lake Erie......

Thanks for the definition, wow, that's interesting, but a lot of people will be upset with that definition, because it means when most of us see what we think is a UFO, it's not a UFO until some techies review the facts of the case and confirm it's not identifiable. And maybe there's good reason for that definition as this Lake Erie case shows:

Ohio UFOs: Case Closed

It did in fact take some technically capable people to assess that "UFO" report. The case of Jimmy Carter and many others identifying the planet Venus comes as a UFO also comes to mind.

And I would say that it appears that many of the "UFOs" in "A list of UFO sightings by Astronomers" have not been vetted by techies. The title would imply that trained astronomers have seen those which in some cases is true but many are by amateur astronomers and in some cases they're by 12, 13, 14 year old kids who can't have much technical training at that age. So a better title, according to Hyneck's definition might be "A list of sightings of possible UFOs or other astronomical objects".



posted on Mar, 21 2010 @ 10:49 AM
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Originally posted by Arbitrageur
Hi Karl,

Speaking of Lake Erie......

Thanks for the definition, wow, that's interesting, but a lot of people will be upset with that definition, because it means when most of us see what we think is a UFO, it's not a UFO until some techies review the facts of the case and confirm it's not identifiable. And maybe there's good reason for that definition as this Lake Erie case shows:

Ohio UFOs: Case Closed


Hi Arbitrageur -that's strange I as I've just responded in that thread.


As for some folks being upset with prosaic explanations - I totaly agree but I've also noticed that other folks get upset with (and wilfuly ignore) cases which seem to defy them.

Cheers.




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